This book had a lot of promise. It had all the ingredients of a great story and started out well, but ultimately devolved into a huge soap opera. Good characters were too good. Evil characters were too evil. Lavinia was naive beyond belief and lost my sympathy more than once. Still, Grissom paints a wonderful portrait of the black family that made Lavinia one of their own. These are the best developed characters by far and made the story worth reading. I just wish the rest of the book had been as compelling as the opening.